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Class Envy in the Modern Vampire

“No one believes in God these days,” I said.

            We were feeding.

            “No one believes in anything beyond their own opinion of the secular,” he said, “it’s a form of burgeoning fascism. I mean it, give them a few more decades and you won’t be able to even hum a hymn.”

            He was like that about God.

I drank some more and poured him another glass.

            “We’re not vampires, not really,” I said, “we don’t just feed on existence.”

            He nodded. “I feel like a vampire sometimes. I feel like everyone who has a voice, everyone who’s had a taste of education, is a little bit of a vampire. These days more so. Everyone feeds off something else.”

            “It’s a middle class problem,” I said.

            He frowned.

            “You are middle class,” he said.

            “It’s my problem then.”

            We drank some more. It was nearly morning. Light pressed against the shuttered windows.

            “You know most people don’t even see that they’re a part of the problem,” he said, “I mean everyone out there who has a voice doesn’t see why they have a voice. I mean they’re so indoctrinated in privilege, even like a tiny slice of privilege, that they don’t see how they’ve benefited from privilege. Anyone who has really been fucked up by this society doesn’t get a voice and if they somehow do get one then they forget how they were fucked up, they forget where they got that voice from and they don’t bother telling anyone else how to find it.  They just have barbecues and go to Copenhagen for the weekend, grow fucking beards and bake. I bet they don’t even visit their parents.”

            We were drunk.

            The morning sunlight was pushing against the shutters. It wanted the shutters to open. It wanted to come in. We kept drinking and feeding.

            “Listen,” I said, “none of us have clue. I don’t go to those parts of the city any more. You know, even I don’t go back home anymore.”

            “Your parents were doctors,” he said, “you went to university and no one was surprised.”

            He poured me another and passed a plate across the table.

            “I’ll give you an example,” he said, “when you got your first job in London they didn’t even know you were from the north. You haven’t even got an accent, Ben.”

            I was drunk and still hungry.

            “That paper you did,” I said, “you wrote that class distinctions were fractured.”

            “You can’t climb a broken ladder,” he said.

            By late afternoon we were both feeling the sun and the drink and we were still hungry.

            “We won’t ever truly go hungry,” he said, feeding some more on the last scraps of yesterday’s harvest, “not now, not these days. Everything’s falling apart, Ben.  Once the banks finally go we’ll be made for life.”

            “What about your savings?” I asked and he laughed.

            When it was dark we both went out to find more food.

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About michaeleganpoetry

Liverpool based poet and editor. I have had four pamphlets of poetry published, most recently After Stikklestad (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2010). Penned in the Margins published my first collection, Steak & Stations, in 2010.

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